Aquino has the last say on Charter Change issue

PRES. Benigno Aquino III would decide in the end. Congress can propose a legislative measure for Cha-cha but the President may either veto it or signed it into law.

Senator Chiz Escudero, the President’s buddy urged pro-Cha-cha legislators to “specify and clarify which provisions of the Constitution they  want to be amended and what exactly the proposed amendment is”.

Vice President Binay opposed Cha-cha at this time. He said the problem is not in the Constitution but in the enforcement.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan expressed his reservations on Charter change as the solution to the country’s many problems, while Senate Majority Floor Leader Tito Sotto III said what the country needs is a character change and not Charter change.

Charter change debate started when Samar Rep. Ben Evardone , former President Arroyo’s loyalist who turned ally of President Aquino, had proposed Charter change after the President declared that he would not be seeking another elective post in 2916, end of his six-year term as President.
Evardone said critics of Charter change wary of such move since it may extend terms of elective officials, including the President.

Former Chief Justice Renato Puno and several Catholic bishops joined the call for Cha-cha by saying the start of the new administration is the “perfect time’’ to amend the 1987 Constitution and heal a “democracy on a streech chair.”

He said the Constitution had spawned a frail state, crippled by a weak electoral system,  social inequalities and political vulnerable society.

Three Catholic bishops shared the view of Puno saying it was time to debate on Cha-cha with citizens participation. They were Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, and Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Yniquez.

President Aquino has always said no one has been able to come out with a reason that validates that Cha-cha is urgent, and that not doing so at the moment will place security at risk.”

What we understood from his statement is that the President  is open in amending the Constitution and may even go for it if his two requirements are satisfied: the Cha-cha is urgent; and without doing so will endanger the country.

But even after that speech of former chief justice Puno delivered before an assembly of students and members of the academe at University of the Philippines, President Aquino was firm on his stand that there is no urgency to amend the Constitution at this time despite the clamor from lawmakers and Catholic bishops.

“It cannot be that you will only consider perfect timing, you also need  to consider whether there is an urgent need to do so,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigael Valte said commenting on Puno’s remark that it was the best time to amend the Charter. Another thing the President has to consider in the issue of Charter-change is whether his leadership and ability to institute reforms would be weaken by Charter change when he becomes a lame duck President or a crippled Chief Executive ineligible for another term or office.

Kudos to Senator Sotto on stand against Reproductive Health Bill

We can’t help but admire Senate Majority Floor Leader Tito Sotto III when he declared that he was willing to risk his position in the chamber if his colleagues would insist on passing reproductive health RH) bill.

He served notice that he would not calendar the controversial  proposed legislation which is strongly opposed by Catholic Church, for floor debate. “They rather replace me as majority leader and concurrently chair of  Senate committee on rules. “They might as well find somebody else,” the senator was quoted to have said.

Senator Sotto was reacting to inclusion of RH bi8ll in the list of 52 priority bills that Malacanang prepared for the perusal of Congress.

Sotto rejected the idea that proponents of the legislative measure wanted a national policy that would impose their position on the use of contraceptives even among people not amenable to them.” Why do they impose their choice on us? Suppose I file a bill banning all contraceptives in the country, would they like that? Sotto asked.

Our hats off to Senator Sotto. May your breed multiply.

Charice Pempengco on the rise!

Some people in the entertainment world are at it again. They have turned into green-eyed monster since Charice Pempengco  has become an instant international singing. In an obvious attempt to demean her success, she is now being fitted against Lea Salonga an equally successful Filipina international artist who starred in several Broadway shows, like the Miss Saigon, one of the longest running Broadway shows.

Let us stop comparing. No two persons are the same.  Lea and Charice are both great in their own right,  and in their own time.

Both brought honors to our country. Thank God Filipino crab-mentality failed to harm Charice‘s successful  singing career  when it was announced  Charice will appear in at least five more episode on “Glee’’. Charice flew back Sunday to US to fulfill previous commitments i9ncluding her taping for “Glee” for five to seven more episodes.

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